K-5 Teachers' Uses of Levels of Abstraction Focusing on Design

Jane Waite, Paul Curzon, William Marsh, Sue Sentance
2017 Proceedings of the 12th Workshop on Primary and Secondary Computing Education - WiPSCE '17  
Recent research with middle school and university students highlights two factors that contribute to programming success: 1) understanding the level of abstraction that you are working at, and 2) being able to move between levels. In this qualitative study we explored levels of abstraction, and particularly the design level, with five K-5 teachers. Here we outline 11 main findings. The teachers interviewed use the design level for both programming and writing. However, the two expert computing
more » ... eachers have a far greater depth of understanding of the opportunities for the use of the design level, supporting pupils to understand the level they are working at and helping them move between levels of abstraction by using designs in novel ways. Further work is needed to investigate whether our results are generalisable. Further exploration of levels of abstraction and particularly how the design level helps K-5 learners learn to program, in the same way that planning supports novices learning to write, is warranted.
doi:10.1145/3137065.3137068 dblp:conf/wipsce/WaiteCMS17 fatcat:4mw5q6ebrvchhndk2pog77bsym